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Old 04-26-2019, 09:41 AM
andrewwynn's Avatar
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Location: Racine, WI
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Originally Posted by stiubhartach View Post
I use an impact gun to start and tighten the plugs. . . what's a cross thread?

One thread strip incident was on a Datsun 510 (girlfriend's car in high school). The plugs hadn't been changed in however long it takes for a rotor to burn away all the contact metal and melt the plastic. Could have been 10 years.

Her dad wasn't happy and blamed me, even though it was his lack of maintenance that was the cause.

Funny line about the what's cross thread: recently couldn't get some lug nuts to go on my dad's van, turned out somebody replaced a couple M12-1.5 with M12-1.25 and just impacted them on until they melded the lug into M12-1.375. Wouldn't work with either.

I took one of the 3 good nuts and cut it into a thread chasing die with my band saw and angle grinder and cleaned up the two damaged lugs.

Also funny note about "could have been ten years" when many of the X5s on this forum have gone 10 years with a set of plugs. If you drive under 10,000 miles a year that's just normal schedule.

Much crazier is the guy from high school I knew that only added oil never changed for as long as he had the car 40/60,000 miles!

Cars with rotors, the distributor cap and rotor are a consumable, what's the problem when in wore out? It's crazy that it wore out dramatically but it was long long overdue for replacement, was the dad just mad because he ignorantly thought a distributor cap lasted forever ?
E53 / M54 2001 3.0i gas LHD (pair of them: his & her)
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:45 AM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Virigina, USA
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I think that is where "Life Time" fluid and parts came from....Total lack of maintenance

2005 X5 4.8IS
The Blue ones are always FASTER....

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Old 04-26-2019, 02:50 PM
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.1 decrease 0-60 time = $1000 & DIY
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Originally Posted by StephenVA View Post
^ i believe that was sarcasm

After working in the plug world, I can say with first hand experience, most techs/DIYers have no idea how to install plugs correctly. The "defect" pile in auto parts warehouses all have a box where tech/DIY "expert" over torqued the plugs and crushed the seals allowing the porcelain center of the plug to eject itself. (Usually with interesting results).
Wrong plug used in engine ("Did you look up the application in the book or did you just cross reference the plug you pulled out?") This one is way too common.
Most are carbon/fuel/oil fouled and hence no longer fire, here the user is looking for free plug replacements.
Gaps all over the place, etc, etc, etc.

My statement on longer life plug applications was only meant to say, USE A DOT OF ANTI-SEIZE ON EVERY PLUG INSTALL, REGARDLESS. (Even your mower, as it can not hurt)

Regarding "Why plugs last longer?" that is a different conversation altogether.
See fuels, manufacturing tolerance improvements (BIG TIME!), fuel delivery changes, plug technology (Big Time), coil on plug, lead removed as a lubricant in the fuels, but the biggest one is electronics - The ability to control ignition dwell/Ign Timing/Fuel Ratio under limitless conditions per Cyl even with various fuel qualities. All of this and the higher temps engines today run at all provide cleaner combustion chambers allowing plug techs to build ones that run for a long time. Our BMW applications can only do "downstream" measurements, current production can "see" on the fly the need for more/less per stroke. Just a few years ago that was F1 technology levels.
If you screw in today's plugs in older cars (i.e. muscle cars) the plugs last 3-10X longer than they did back in the day. The cars idle better, run harder, produce less emissions, and will turn faster 1/4 mile times. I used to change my own big block motor's plugs every 500 miles (monthly). On daily driver applications I did every 5,000 miles with the points, condenser, rotor. Cap on every third "Tune". Wires every other year. I was and am, anal. I can feel the drop off. (Highly sensitive butt dyno). Most drivers today (this forum readers are the exceptions as you all love cars) can not feel when a tire is low and ready to fall off the rim.

Coming in the not so near future: Plugs that read combustion temp/color and send signals to allow next stroke to be different; plugs with NO side strap/Ground strips as they will use the center of the piston to provide the gap. Running today in Ford's tech factory (Volvo too!) and on a few F1 applications. Going to be a one factory installed plug and done for the engine. No maintenance cycles at all. Engine packaging will change as there will be no need to make them "easy to replace". I can remember everyone getting excited when you had to remove the wheel and fender liners to get to the plugs in Corvettes and Mercedes applications. BRING BACK THOSE DAYS!

I will get off my soap box now.....Way Too much to do today.
Thanks for the clarification. FYI, I considered engine technology to include electronics.

Sounds like we may have started wrenching about the same time. Went through the muscle car years mostly street racing late at night out in farm country. Always been a big block fan. I've been learning what a good pro street build is and looking at the C2s out there. Going to go turnkey and then 'tinker' with it.

Yes, bring back those days!
X5 4.6 2002 Black Sap, Black interior. 2013 X5M Melbourne Red, Bamboo interior
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